Encouragement for the Journey 21 February 2016

An inclusive Christian community in Auckland, New Zealand

Encouragement for the Journey 21 February 2016

Encouragement for the Journey

Friends

Greetings fellow Traveller,

This Sunday is our first Café Church for the year, with its theme: of the stranger in our midst. I would like to have been present for this one. However, I will be in Queenstown en- route to Lindis Ridge (Central Otago) for a wilderness retreat.

Members of our Kids Friendly Team are leading our Café Church today. Please offer them your support and encouragement.

Our theme of welcoming the stranger is so relevant for the living of our days in these ever changing times.

A stranger can be anyone. A stranger can be a family member, to groups of people whose way of life and being in the world, appear to be on first glance to be different to ones own.

This stranger image could be expressed through a difference of nationality, customs, mores, living patterns, ethnicity, religious expression, physical disabilities, politics, economics, and ways of dress, as well as other factors, contribute to distrust, racism, sexism, prejudice and violence etc.

You may be wondering how do I show hospitality to the stranger. Before we ask that question, we need to look inside ourselves, for there resides the prerequisite to our welcoming. We need to ask ourselves questions like:

  • How is our heart, does love or fear dwell there?
  • What is the foundation of our lives built on?
  • What are we afraid of in the eyes of the stranger?
  • Who is responsible for our unease around the stranger?

Once we are able to truthfully acknowledge our own fear and prejudice around the stranger, we may choose to welcome and practice loving hospitality to the stranger in our midst. This to me seems a healthy way of responding……

Meanwhile peace and welcome

Alf